This Day in History: June 27

On this day, June 27 …

2018: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was often the deciding vote on abortion, gay rights and other controversial issues, announces his retirement. (Kennedy’s departure would lead to the nomination and bitter confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh.)

Also on this day:

  • 1844: Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, are killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill.
  • 1880: Helen Keller, who lived most of her life without sight or hearing, is born in Tuscumbia, Ala.
  • 1974: President Richard Nixon opens an official visit to the Soviet Union.
  • 1988: Mike Tyson retains the undisputed heavyweight crown, knocking out Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round of a championship fight in Atlantic City, N.J.
  • 1991: Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black jurist to sit on the nation's highest court, announces his retirement. (His departure would lead to the contentious nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed him.)
  • 2005: The Supreme Court rules, in a pair of 5-4 decisions, that displaying the Ten Commandments on government property is constitutionally permissible in some cases but not in others. 
FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2005, file photo, convicted BTK killer Dennis Rader listens during a court proceeding in El Dorado, Kan. A new book says the BTK serial killer planned to kill an 11th victim by hanging her upside down in her Wichita, Kansas, home. It’s a story police heard from Dennis Rader himself in 2005, but decided at the time to suppress to protect the woman. The story was made public in “Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer,” which has a scheduled release date of Sept. 6. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP, Pool)

FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2005, file photo, convicted BTK killer Dennis Rader listens during a court proceeding in El Dorado, Kan. A new book says the BTK serial killer planned to kill an 11th victim by hanging her upside down in her Wichita, Kansas, home. It’s a story police heard from Dennis Rader himself in 2005, but decided at the time to suppress to protect the woman. The story was made public in “Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer,” which has a scheduled release date of Sept. 6. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP, Pool) (The Associated Press)

  • 2005: “BTK” serial killer Dennis Rader pleads guilty to 10 murders that had spread fear across Wichita, Kan., beginning in the 1970s. (Rader would later receive multiple life sentences.)
  • 2007: Tony Blair resigns as British prime minister after more than 10 years in power.
  • 2008: Bill Gates steps down as chairman of Microsoft. 
FILE  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

  • 2017: Mark Zuckerberg announces that Facebook had passed 2 billion monthly users.